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The mortgage market heats up as house sales get a spring boost

Time to think about your mortgage deal

Data from HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) shows that UK property transactions in March hit the highest monthly level since modern records began in 2005.

Official data also shows average UK house prices rose 8.6% in a year.

There were 180,690 UK property sales in March, the non-seasonally adjusted HMRC figures show, which was more than double the number in March last year and 50% higher than February.

Stamp duty holidays across the UK were set to finish at the end of March, but announcements - including in the Budget on 4 March - extended these deadlines in England, Wales and Northern Ireland into the summer.

A new guarantee scheme for low-deposit mortgages in the UK was also announced in the Budget.

What’s unsure is whether the growth is long term or a reaction to the stamp duty holiday.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said average house prices increased over the year to the end of February in England to £268,000 (up 8.7%), in Wales to £180,000 (up 8.4%), in Scotland to £162,000 (up 8%) and in Northern Ireland to £148,000 (up 5.3%).

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